Brazilian warplanes dump water on Amazon fires as outcry mounts

Warplanes? F 15s aren’t going to carry much water you know.

Brazilian warplanes have begun dumping water on burning forest in the Amazon state of Rondonia, responding to an outcry over the destruction of the world’s largest tropical rain forest.


A Hercules C-130 plane dropping water to fight fires in the state of Rondonia, Brazil. Photograph: Brazil Air Force/HANDOUT/EPA

Oh, you mean the military fly the standard firefighting planes then?

24 thoughts on “Rilly?”

  1. Tim, you are aware that they have a right wing, sorry, a FAR right wing, president, who is personally lighting these fires for money just like Trump would, so these photos are obviously fake?

  2. Tim, quickly edit F15 to F5 and you’ll stop the anorak pendants picking on the minutia.

    Also, the C130s in question are unlikely to be “standard” firefighting planes. No need for camoflage. These will be military transport aircraft with a cargo bay water dispenser.

    Also, using “warplane” to describe any military aircraft is common practice.


  3. I think it is rather the firefighters use a version of what is a standard (probably _the_ standard in the West) military transport plane.

  4. “Also, using “warplane” to describe any military aircraft is common practice.”

    Examples? And it is “misdescribe.”

    By definition, the C-130* is not. It is a transport plane. But there is that qualifier, ‘Brazilian.’ Perhaps ‘Brazilian warplanes’ are different from ours.

    *With the delightful exception of the AC-130.

  5. Dunno that it’s gonna make any difference, looks like the equivalent of using a water pistol to put out the Sun.

    But at least it’s “doing something”.

    Re: the fires. My uneducated guess is, heavily forested areas burn down from time to time, and it’s just the circle of life and all that. The only long term solution would be the one greenies would hate – clear out a grid of firebreaks across the sainted rainforest.

    Anyone know tho?

  6. Steve: that was exactly what I was thinking a moment ago watching the news. Pledging millions to “restore” the forest – forests restore themselves after fires, it’s what fires are “for”.

    I remember, I think in the 1980, research finding that the “management” of American forestland to prevent fires actually caused greater fires. Smokey The Bear stamping out little fires prevented dead wood being removed, building up tinder until a spark set off one big massive fire.

  7. Steve, jgh
    Yes. Natural wildfire is common from the tropics to the arctic. Has been ever since O2 got above about 17% of the atmosphere. Prevention will require CO2 % to return to levels not seen since the evolution of trees.

  8. Couple of comments:

    “management” to prevent forest fires usually leads to much worse ones but fewer of them.

    I understand these are mostly the result result of farmers clearing land – begs the rather obvious question, how much of this is driven by demand for land for growing biofuels?

  9. I left a comment on Tim Newman’s site regarding the naturalness of the Brazilian rainforest. (And apologies TmN for inadvertantly using terra negra not the correctterra preta. Despite keeping a tame brasilena about the place, we speak spanish not portuguese).
    There’s quite a good Wiki entry on the subject.

  10. Natural wildfire is common from the tropics to the arctic.

    Common but not universal. Have you ever heard of a wildfire in British broadleaf woodland? They just don’t happen, which is why we could have campfires in the woods when we were laddies.

  11. @ dearieme
    They’d be just as common in British forests if they weren’t so heavily managed. There was an incipient one in Epping forest some years ago, when I used to walk the dogs there. Started with a small fire that was put out. But the burning had actually got into the soil between the trees & was smouldering away, underground. You could smell it & the ground was warm. Lasted at least a couple weeks, despite the odd summer shower. A prolonged dry spell could have seen that take a fair stretch of forest out, until it reached a firebreak. I presume Epping Forest management must have dug it out & quenched, judging by what the area looked like after.
    Fires are integral with forests. Or they wouldn’t look like they do. They’d be all climax tree cover & nothing else. And few animals living in them, coz nothing to eat. Fires give a chance for the understorey to get a chance & new trees to grow.

  12. “Re: the fires. My uneducated guess is, heavily forested areas burn down from time to time, and it’s just the circle of life and all that. The only long term solution would be the one greenies would hate – clear out a grid of firebreaks across the sainted rainforest.”

    The whole thing feels cooked up, what with France and Ireland trying to use it as a shield against beef imports. How hard would it be for a government to pay some of the popular NGOs to go out there and then start talking to all their mates in the media and pretty soon, the Amazon is a crisis, maybe we need to have an exception in the trade rules for beef, EU consumers pay more than they have to.

  13. Main “beef” between France and Brazil at the moment seems to be Jair Bolsonaro’s rude comments about Brigitte Macron

  14. Perhaps Macron should look at the recent spate of big fires in France recently, especially down in the south. I saw signs of several major blazes when I was there recently… Let alone the burning péages and Notre Dame

  15. @PJF August 26, 2019 at 10:09 am


    A Hercules C-130 is not a “standard firefighting plane”.

    Warplane = Military aircraft designed for use in combat, C-130 is such

    F-15 – Brazil don’t have any

  16. imo the wall to wall news is because establishment despise Bolisaro(?) same as BoJo, Orban and Trump

    If Pres of Brazil was a Trudeau clone all we’d hear were snippets extolling how hard he was working

  17. “C-130 is such”

    NFW. In fact, I served at Little Rock AFB in 1972 training C-130 crews. It is a transport; it is NOT a combat aircraft.

  18. I wonder if the firefighting planes are carbon neutral? It will take a lot of flights to have any noticeable effect on the fires – they’re visible from space

  19. I contacted them. The said ‘warplane’ sounded better in their titles than ‘military plane.’ I have to admit, it does sound better.

  20. Forest fires or just agricultural fires. Mostly the later but greenies will misdescribe the event to further their narrative.

  21. @Gamecock

    Don’t recall any AA, BA, DHL, Fedex, UPS flights into Helmand; plenty of C5, C17, C130 Cargo warplanes with chaff/flare and night vision

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